Dagny's Winter Cruise

18 September 2023
14 September 2023
09 September 2023
09 September 2023
06 September 2023
06 September 2023
02 September 2023
29 August 2023
29 August 2023
23 August 2023
11 August 2023
05 August 2023
31 July 2023
28 July 2023
22 July 2023
20 July 2023

Nova Scotia At Last!

14 July 2023
Allan Gray
A good weather window for the leg from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia was proving to be very elusive with the conditions changing daily. However, a Monday departure looked like the best chance to sail most of the way so arrangements were made to meet Whitebird at the north end of the Cape Cod canal and set course for Nova Scotia. We got under way from Bedford at 10:00 a.m. with the intent of riding the tidal current through the canal. Boy was it a good thing we timed it right, our 7 knot ground speed increased to 12.2 knots as we rode the ebb current through the 12 mile canal. After clearing the canal and hooking up with Whitebird we set sail for the 280 mile trip across the Gulf of Maine to Shelburne NS.

The early forecast called for 15 knots from the south which was perfect for us and Dagny revelled in the breeze as we settled in for the crossing. However, as is always the case things change. Over the next 48 hours we saw everything from torrential rain, light wind, no wind, pea soup fog and champagne sailing conditions for the last 10 miles. Unfortunately we had to motor sail about 65% of the way in flat glassy seas, when we could see them through the fog, but at least we were on our way. We gradually settled into a routine of sleeping and standing watch as the time wore on, Bev was still recovering from Covid but fortunately her stamina had returned.

As darkness fell the second night out and the pea soup fog enveloped Dagny it became impossible to see anything out the windshield. As is always the case there are lots of weeds and debris floating around and sometime during the night we snagged something that drastically reduced our speed while increasing our fuel burn. I had installed a line cutter on the shaft which I think helped avert a complete fouling of the prop, however, we were forced to operate at lower speeds to reduce the prop shaft vibration. Despite the reduced speed we still hit our tide target on the nose enabling us to round Cape Sable with a favourable tide. The final 25 miles seemed to be taking forever but as we neared the coast the fog suddenly lifted giving us a great view of a lighthouse and the entrance to Shelburne Bay. After 2 long nights of listening to the motor we were finally able to shut it off and enjoyed a great 10 mile sail up the bay to the historic town of Shelburne.

We grabbed a mooring at the Shelburne Yacht Club and settled in for a good rest before heading ashore to explore the town. We had heard all the reports about helpful staff, friendly members and great facilities and I'm happy to report they're all true. We elected to stay for two nights to recharge our batteries, after all both crews had been pushing fairly hard over the past 2 weeks and it was time to decompress. Peter, from Whitebird graciously volunteered to dive on the prop to cut away the debris(I swim like a rock). The only issue was the water is full of tannin and visibility was next to nil, it took him a couple of try's to find the prop but to our delight everything had been washed away by the changing tidal currents. No harm, no foul, a test run proved everything was fine.

Today's picture is of the Cape Roseway lighthouse.

Vessel Name: Dagny
Vessel Make/Model: Sabre 402
Hailing Port: South Lancaster On
Crew: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
About: Allan is a retired Montreal Air Traffic Controller and Bev is a retired Elementary School Principal.
Extra: After many years of local cruising and Etchells racing we are living our dream of sailing to the Bahamas. Allan enjoys golfing, cycling and skiing. Bev is an active cyclist, runner, aerobics participant and cross country skier.

Who: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
Port: South Lancaster On